Feeds

HMRC warns (again) over tax refund phishing scams

Marks still sending their account info to email fraudsters

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

UK taxpayers were officially warned on Friday to have nothing to do with supposed tax refund emails that have begun circulating since the deadline for self-assessment tax returns expired on Monday.

The scam emails claim the recipients (prospective marks) are entitled to a tax refund, which can supposedly be claimed after handing over credit card and other banking details to a linked website. In reality, the replica site of the real HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that the email recipients are invited to visit is designed simply to con the gullible into handing over their banking credentials to fraudsters for later abuse. Victims who fall for the phishing ruse risk finding their bank accounts emptied rather than enriched and their personal information sold to other crooks through underground carding forums.

Over the last three months alone, HMRC has shut down 99 websites involved in fake tax rebate emails. Over the last 18 months alone, scam networks have been shut down in Austria, Mexico, the UK, South Korea, the USA, Thailand and Japan. Despite these enforcement actions – and the ease of avoiding becoming a victim – the scam shows no signs of dying off any time soon.

Government officials say that legitimate tax refund applications are always processed by post rather than by email.

Chris Hopson, director of customer contact at HMRC, commented: “As a matter of policy, HMRC will only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. If anyone receives an email offering a tax rebate claiming to be from HMRC, we recommend they send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk before deleting it permanently.” ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.